Giving Compass' Take:

• Kathleen Kelly Janus, Cheryl Dorsey, Pia Infante, and Robert Ross discuss how philanthropists can work to overcome the invisible barriers that prevent marginalized groups from accessing capital.  

• How do these barriers undermine work being done in your community? What would be your first steps toward dismantling these barriers?  

• Learn about an initiative to improve economic mobility in the U.S. 

Research shows that when talented social innovators lack “invisible capital”—the so-called right pedigree, right passport, right skin color, right gender—they may fail to get the attention and investment they need to succeed. How can leaders in philanthropy improve access to capital? What tools can help nonprofit leaders overcome these barriers and get the support they need?

Social entrepreneur, author, and Stanford University lecturer Kathleen Kelly Janus leads a discussion about these questions with Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey, Whitman Institute Co-executive Director Pia Infante, and California Endowment CEO Robert Ross.

“Philanthropy is reinforcing many of the very forms of inequality that we are all working so hard to solve,” Janus says.

Dorsey identifies three main systemic barriers—a lack of access to capital and opportunities, psychological stress from social exclusion, and the unequal control of resources and political power in society—as some of the challenges to achieving more equitable investment.

Listen to the podcast about dismanteling barriers to capital by Kathleen Kelly Janus, Cheryl Dorsey, Pia Infante, and Robert Ross at Stanford Social Innovation Review.